25th Mar 2020
Seeing as how we could be settling in for the long haul, it’s a good thing that Netflix has us covered for movie night and binge watches
As we come to the end of the completely insane ride that was the month of March, we’re looking forward to brighter horizons in April. While our self-isolating days are far from over (April 19 is when we’ll see a return to normality at the earliest), there are still plenty of books to read, home workouts to try, and, of course, Netflix watches to watch.
Netflix are constantly adding new titles to their repertoire and April looks set to have some great additions. From movies to series, classic 80’s watches to modern documentaries, at least you won’t be stuck for things to watch while all this is going on.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
A classic that viewers seem to either love or hate depending on their age group – I adore this movie, however my mother errs on the side of the principal, because Ferris, in her words, is an ‘annoying little sod’. Be that as it may, the annoying little sod does provide plenty of entertainment in this film, where he shows how to make the most of a day of mitching off school. With his girlfriend and best friend in tow, the trio explore the streets of Chicago, with plenty of hilarious mishaps.
The Breakfast Club
We’re continuing the Brat Pack classics here with perhaps the most famous edition, The Breakfast Club. My prevailing memory of this movie was being shown it in some SPHE-related class, presumably to show us all how to embrace our differences. It didn’t hit its target, mostly because the stereotypes of jocks, nerds and beauty queens did not abound in Dublin secondary schools, but I’ve loved the film ever since. It follows five teenagers of very different personalities and backgrounds, as they all get stuck in detention together for one day. Banding together against the principal, the students learn from each other about life, love and hardship.
And to conclude Netflix’s incoming stream of 80’s teen movies, we have Sixteen Candles. As a major Molly Ringwald fan, I have to include this for the romance element, but it’s far from perfect. Racial stereotypes and rape culture are all present here, so if you’re looking at it through 2020 eyes, you may not be in for a fun time. But for cute high school romance, fabulous 80’s fashion, and a great soundtrack, it’s well worth a watch if you’re bored.
Never Have I Ever
Keeping on the coming-of-age train, this new release from the mind of the inimitable Mindy Kaling (of The Office and The Mindy Project fame) looks great. It follows Devi Vishwakumar, a first-generation Indian American teenager, as she tries to navigate the perils of modern high school.
After Life Season 2
Unfortunately, there’s no trailer just yet for Season 2 of this incredible series, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait. In Season 1 of After Life, we followed Tony, a recent widower who was struggling to come to terms with life without his wife. Through the help of his colleagues, and some unlikely friends, Tony realises that he can longer spend his life being bitter and angry at everyone he meets – life is for trying to make your corner of the world a bit better.
In Season 2, we’ll see Tony try to become a better friend to those around him, who are each grappling with their own problems, especially with the looming threat of the local newspaper where he works being shut down.
You may have already spent a lot of your self-isolating days bingeing the follow-up TV series, but why not delve into the documentary that started it all? Starring a barely-recognisable Nev Schulman (both physically and mentally, in how naive he once was to the perils of the internet), the doc follows Nev as he embarks on an online relationship with a woman he has never met or seen before. Nev travels across the country to try and meet this woman, only to find that she has not been entirely truthful.
You may not believe it, but this space-age blockbuster is actually a pretty great comedy watch. Matt Damon stars as astronaut Mark Watney, who, during a manned mission to Mars, goes missing and is presumed dead by his crew, who leave him behind. Mark survives and sets to work in constructing an environment that he can survive in. Millions of miles away, the crew at NASA devise a daring mission to save Mark, if they can get to him before his supplies run short.
Life on Mars
Sticking with the Mars theme, this limited series by the BBC is a brilliant watch, even though it last aired in 2007. It tells the story of Sam Tyler, a Greater Manchester Police officer, who, after being hit by a car in 2006, wakes up in 1973 to find himself working for the police in the same station and location as his own life in modern times. Sam begins a new life in the 70’s, grappling with the possible outcomes of his car accident – is he dead, in a coma, or has he actually travelled back in time?
Community (all six seasons)
Lovers of this irreverent comedy rejoice – Community is coming back to Netflix! The series centres around Jeff Winger, who has been disbarred from his law firm after it was discovered that he lied about having a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University. He enrolls at Greendale Community College to get a real degree, and quickly becomes attracted to fellow student Britta (played by Gillian Jacobs) and creates a study group to get closer to her, which evolves into a very funny group of unlikely friends. Community has a fantastic cast, including Chevy Chase, Donald Glover (pre-Atlanta), Ken Jeong and Alison Brie, and the running jokes and pop culture references make it one of my favourite watches.
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